Regional music competition in Maputo

About 10 groups from five countries namely Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi would be fighting it out for a trip to Europe and a lucrative recording contract that is in store for the winner. The event takes place between April 27 and 30. Zimbabwe kicked off the preparations for the competition in Harare last week where a Marimba outfit Bongo Love was voted the best outfit out of 17 groups that made it to the provincial final. Today, the Midlands competition takes off in Gweru while the scouting team is expected to move on to Bulawayo, Mutare and Marondera in the following weeks. Two groups would be selected from among the provincial winners to represent the country in Maputo. Music Crossroads was initiated and organised by Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) recognised as the premier global network for youth and music. JMI has members and observers in 70 countries worldwide. The programme involves youths aged between 15 and 25 through life-changing music skills and HIV and Aids education in a bid to empower and prepare them for the future. It also aims to increase the level of professionalism of musicians and acts as a platform for launching their musical careers. It encourages its participants to think for themselves and to take pride in who they are and in their cultural heritages. Each competition is preceded by a workshop, which impart marketing skills, public relations, music management, contract negotiation, and copyright laws and musicians’ rights among others. The Norwegian Agency for Develo-pment Cooperation, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the Swedish Internat-ional Development Co-operation Agency have funded the programme since 1996. Film producer’s case twists Lesedi Ramathuba, a woman who testified to falsely accusing film producer Billy Kokorwe of raping her, appeared at the Village Magistrates’ Court to be sentenced for sentence this last week. During the conviction and sentencing Kokorwe was a busy man in court constantly scribbling and passing notes to his attorney, Doreen Khama. After the sentence Kokorwe is said to have rushed out of court immediately and was spotted with an old man suspected to be Ramathuba’s father with whom h drove away. However, Korokwe returned shortly with his Mercedes Benz, entered the reserved parking behind the newsroom and took his accuser, Ramathuba, into the car and zoomed away in no time. The drama unfolded after Village Magistrate, Mareledi Dipate sentenced Ramathuba to two years imprisonment and fined her P3 000 for lying to the police after she withdrew the rape allegations. The fine and the jail-term were wholly suspended for three years. Ramathuba had pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to a police officer, arising from the withdrawn rape allegations. She told the courts that she reported Kokorwe because she was angry with him but had no intention to have him prosecuted for rape. The judge warned her that lying to the police is a serious offence the law enforcement agents had diverted their attention to her case instead of looking at other serious pending cases. Korokwe had been taken by police after the report and the lady only confessed that she was lying after some time. She said friends and family members had advised her to take that action in order to fix the film producer whom she had had a dispute with. Painter in debut solo exhibition Wailer Unaswi Motsu, one of talented upcoming painters in Botswana is holding his first solo at the Alliance Francaise in Gaborone. The exhibition, which opened on Thursday, is showcasing 25 pieces of abstract and real paintings from the passionate painter. The 24 year-old Motsu says his life has revolved around art ever since he completed his form five at McConnell College in Tutume some years ago. Through art, the youngman has managed to fund for his Information Technology course and is currently for a higher diploma in the field. He is confident that besides other professions, people can make a living from the arts. Using acrylics and mixed media, such as chalk and charcoal, Motsu has been able to create wonderful pieces that have attracted the hearts of many art collectors and this has brought encouraging financial returns. Motsu started studying art while still at junior and senior secondary school level and painted numerous works between 2003 and 2004 when he was based at Thapong studios from where he sold his pieces. He says he has numerous pieces in his workshop and hopes to keep others for his permanent collection. Presently, painting is his spare time activity as he has to primarily concentrate on his studies. Motsu has participated in general exhibitions before but he is thrilled by the idea of hogging the limelight as a solo exhibitor. The exhibition is part of the various activities lined up for the Francophone week throughout Africa where The French embassies of respective countries facilitate showcases and performances of the arts as a way of developing the industry.

March 2006
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